Marta Wnuk for Network Commissioner: “Netcommies should be in a constant dialogue with people and listen to their ideas”

Marta Wnuk, 23, is currently board member of AEGEE-Warszawa and content manager of the Eastern Partnership Project. However, she has now decided to take another step forwarrd and run for Network Commissioner, having the Polish-speaking locals as her preference. A previous Subcommissioner of Mateusz Dokurno, she applied while the deadline for candidatures was extended, and here is what she can tell us about her program.

Picture by Jorge Sánchez at Autumn Agora Zaragoza

The AEGEEan: How did you join AEGEE?

Marta: I joined AEGEE two and a half years ago, in March 2012. I was a second year student then and I was looking for some non-academic activities I could get engaged in at that time. So the perfect opportunity came, when I got a leaflet at my university advertising Local Training Course organized by AEGEE-Poznań. I decided to go and as you might expect this was the weekend that changed my life.

For which reason did you apply for Netcom later than the first deadline?

I feel a big responsibility towards my Network, that’s why I submitted my candidature. I didn’t apply before the first deadline as a quite demanding year is ahead of me and I wasn’t sure that I can dedicate as much time I would like to being a Netcommie. I’m already very active in AEGEE and I’m challenged with finishing my studies and writing a master’s thesis this year. Nevertheless, I reconsidered the situation as there appeared to be no other person that could currently take care of the locals from the Polish-speaking area and I was asked by many to run. I do care about the well-being of antennae in my part of the Network, so I decided to take up this challenge.

Will you being a board member of AEGEE-Warszawa affect your potential work in the Netcom?

I believe not. I’m aware of the workload that is waiting for me when I’ll be holding both positions. That’s why I discussed the issue with my fellow board members and we decided to rearrange our duties within the board so that I’ll keep only the basic tasks of Secretary. I hope that thanks to good time management and with help of my Subcommies, I will be able to fulfill all my obligations well.

How has being a Subcommie prepared you for this position?

While being Subcommie I could see the network from a different angle than before holding this position. That allowed me to shape a point of view needed to carry on the duties of Network Commissioner. I got to know very well local specifics, which is extremely important for properly and effective action plans. I can say that I understand problems and challenges that locals in my area are facing as well, as I developed contacts with other board members, which is a key for a good future communication. Moreover, I was involved in organizing two Network Meetings with Netcommie Mateusz Dokurno, so I know how the process of preparing such events looks like and what should be done in order to continue on the path of improvement we’re already on.

Who will be your Subcommies?

As soonas I be elected I can issue an open call for my Subcommies. This way I’ll assure that all interested members have equal chances in applying for the position. I expect to create a strong team of skillful and dedicated Subcommies as I was already signaled by some that they would like to join me in my Netcom journey. However, my whole team will be announced after the Agora, possibly during Network Meeting Zielona Góra. I believe this is the most fair approach.

If you had to define the job of a Netcommie in 1-2 sentences what would you say?

I see the role of Netcommie as a facilitator of internal cooperation and discussion in the part of the network under his/ her care. Netcommies create conditions for efficient communication between the locals as well as between antennae and the European level.

How much time besides your studies and everyday life do you have to dedicate to the Netcom?

Actually, it’s a very vague question. It’s hard to assume as the amount of time needed is conditioned by the specific situation in the network. It depends on how serious a certain problem is and possibilities of solving it as well as on involvement of Subcommies. Currently, the situation among Polish-speaking locals is quite stable, so I can focus on my every-day tasks undisturbed by bigger problems.

What is the feedback system?

Feedback system is one of the valuable means that can help Netcommie to answer the network’s needs better. I believe that Netcommie should be in an constant dialogue with people and listen to their ideas, concerns and inquires as it’s them who actually create the network. The feedback system makes room for improvement and empowers people to have a say.

How will you work on improving the knowledge transfer system?

I intend to enable two level-communication aiming at knowledge transfer. One between Subcommies and locals and second between board members themselves. My Subcommies will have responsibilities divided according to areas especially important for functioning of antennae, namely: HR, PR, FR. Those Subcommies will have expertise needed for providing help and guidance. What is more, there are already Facebook groups that gather board members of different positions. They are platforms on which Subcommies can facilitate discussions and exchange of knowledge and experience by those board members between each other. This way weaker locals can learn from stronger ones and together overcome difficulties. I would like to also dedicate more space for knowledge transfer between the boards during Network Meetings and encourage them to be in touch during the year in other forms that they will find most suitable.

What is the most important part of your program?

I want to stress the importance of LTCs. A successful LTC is the most efficient recruitment tool and assures that people who stay in the organization are very well trained to work in AEGEE. During LTC new members, not only experience AEGEE spirit that drives their further activity, but they learn solid basics of project management, so in effect an antenna is capable of organizing a big number of high quality projects. That enhances PR and FR possibilities and is also an attractive offer for other new members. All in all, this is a definition of a thriving local. My role as a Netcommie here is supervision of implementation of common LTC format that currently most of Polish-speaking antennae have and provide guidance when needed. I’m thinking also about appointing a special Subcommie that will assist me in this area.

How will you be innovative and different than previous Netcommies?

I would like to put a bigger accent on development of dialogue and exchange of knowledge and experiences between board members of locals from my area, so that they can learn from each other and help one another to get better. I also intend to work on strategy of communication with locals that would raise awareness about the European level.

Do you already have an idea of which locals you would like to have? If so, which ones?

I’m a former member of AEGEE-Poznań and currently a member of AEGEE-Warszawa. I have been Subcommie of Mateusz Dokurno, who has under his care all Polish-speaking locals. This is the area I know the best. I’m familiar with local’s specifics, their current situation, their problems and challenges. I do know the people with whom I’ll be working with and it’s them who motivate me to candidate. So antennae located in Poland are a natural choice.

If you are elected and it happes that another Netcommie wants the same locals as you, will you be willing to take other locals?

I don’t suppose that such situation will happen, as currently one place for member of the Network Commission remains vacant, so most probably members of the Network Commission would have to take on extra locals if the situation won’t change.

Written by Patricia Anthony, AEGEE-Zaragoza

(featured image by Jorge Sánchez at Autumn Agora Zaragoza 2013)